IHL Dissemination Activities

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The Geneva Conventions require national Red Cross societies to promote awareness of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) by targeting specific audiences and the general public.

The Irish Red Cross provides training and education to organisations and individuals as well as frequently holding public IHL events. We also run workshops and presentations for community groups.

National IHL Committee

The National IHL Committee was established in 2008 by the Government to advise on matters of IHL, to provide a means of promoting wider knowledge of IHL within the State and to prepare for international conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The Irish Red Cross is a member of this committee along with a number of Government departments as well as the Irish Defence Forces and the Attorney General’s office.

IHL Panel Discussions

Organised two to three times a year, these public events are an opportunity to discuss and debate issues relating to IHL. Each panel discussion brings together academics and practitioners to explore the chosen topic with time allotted for audience participation. Previous panel discussions included: "Islamic State and IHL" and "The International Prisoner of War Agency and its continued relevance today".


University Seminars

The Irish Red Cross is happy to offer speakers to universities and other educational institutions on IHL. Seminars can be tailored to fit within a taught module, can form part of a series, or they can work as standalone events to serve as an introduction to humanitarian law for students. In the past we have delivered lectures at University College Cork, Maynooth University and The Law Society of Ireland.

Corn Adomnáin Competition

The Corn Adomnáin is an Irish Red Cross IHL competition for third-level students.

The competition is named after the Cáin Adomnáin (or the Law of Innocents as it is often referred to) which was an early-Christian IHL treaty signed in Birr, Co. Offaly in 697AD. The competition aims to take the learning out of the lecture hall and give students an opportunity to engage with IHL on a practical level, applying their knowledge to "real-life" situations.

Students participating in the competition take part in role-plays, simulations and moot courts. These are evaluated by a jury composed of highly experienced people in the field of international law. Applications for the competition open in September each year with the competition taking place the following spring.

To find out more about any of our IHL dissemination events or to organise a seminar, please contact our IHL focal point Gillian McCarthy on gmccarthy@redcross.ie or 01-642-4632.